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The vision for the Spark Grants program is to introduce an innovative just-in-time grantmaking process to fill urgent needs for education organizations that are well-aligned with the Michelson 20MM Foundation’s key target outcomes. The foundation seeks to fund highly impactful initiatives that would not be possible if they needed to wait through a traditional grant decision timeline.
In the spirit of acting quickly, grants will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. The Spark Grant program will award $100,000 in its first phase.
The Spark Grant program is available to United States-based non-profits, institutions, and for-profits (for-profit organizations will be subject to additional scrutiny to mission alignment).
The foundation is committed to reaching a decision on each application within 15 business days.
Baseline Grant Criteria
- Grant ask is up to $25,000
- Grant would cover a specific self-contained milestone focus
- Accepted types of milestones: inflection points, things that may open up a new foothold with a partner (such as enabling a new partnership with a market leader), new proof of concept
- Examples of milestone restrictions: general operating expenses (rent, utilities, server costs, etc.), on-going inventory, salaries of team members, general working capital
Key Target Outcomes
- Increase the number of underserved learners who enroll in postsecondary opportunities.
- Increase the number of individuals prepared for 21st century careers.
- Decrease the cost of postsecondary education for all students.
- Increase students’ college persistence.
- Decrease students’ average time to degree completion.
- Advance nascent digital technologies that are relevant to learning outcomes.
The mission of the Michelson 20MM Foundation is to improve access, affordability, and efficacy in postsecondary education that leads to meaningful careers.